It has been widely reported in the news, both in the UK and internationally, about the appalling treatment by the Home Office of those who are being referred to as the Windrush Generation. These are the children of Commonwealth citizens who came to the UK between 1948 and 1971. Due to the lack of documentation which confirms the rights of the Windrush Generation to be in the UK and a number of Home Office failings and UK’s Hostile Immigration Environment Policy, many were facing deportation back to countries they haven’t returned to in decades.
Who are the Windrush Generation?
The Windrush Generation refers to the Commonwealth citizens who came to the UK between 1948 and 1971. These Commonwealth citizens were encouraged to come to the UK to fill the countries labour shortages – such as bus drivers and nurses. Yet, when the Immigration Act 1971 (“the 1971 Act”) came into force, Commonwealth citizens lost their automatic right to remain in the UK and they faced the same restrictions as migrants from elsewhere. For those who were already living in the UK, they were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain and for decades since then, many of the Windrush Generation considered themselves as British. However, at the time these Commonwealth citizens, mainly from the Caribbean, were not issued with the requisite documentation which demonstrates their right to be in the UK.
Why is the Windrush Generation having difficulties with the Home Office?
When Theresa May was Home Secretary in 2012, she introduced a Hostile Environment Policy in order to reduce the UK’s net migration figure to less than 100,000 and crack down on illegal immigration. As a result, many of the Windrush Generation have fallen victim to the Home Office’s robust and objective policies and some have recently lost their jobs, access to NHS services, or even been detained in immigration removal centres. Theresa May’s changes to the UK’s immigration laws and environment has meant that the Windrush Generation have had to prove that they have been living in the UK for decades by providing 4 sources of documents such as bank statements and payslips for every year they have been in the country. This is despite these individuals having paid tax in the UK for decades and frankly an impossible and ridiculous task.
Another issue that has arisen for the Windrush Generation is that their landing cards or ‘registration slips’ had been destroyed in 2010. Whilst a Home Office spokesperson has said:
“Registration slips provided details of an individual’s date of entry; they did not provide any reliable evidence relating to ongoing residence in the UK or their immigration status. So it would be misleading and inaccurate to suggest that registration slips would therefore have a bearing on immigration cases whereby Commonwealth citizens are proving residency in the UK.”
According to The Guardian however, a former Home Office employee said the information from registration slips had been very useful and that it was wrong to destroy the archive. This is an example of one of the many mistakes by the Home Office in relation to the treatment of the Windrush Generation.
What is the UK Government doing to help the Windrush Generation?
On Monday in a speech made to Parliament, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the Home Office had “lost sight of individuals” and become “too concerned with policy”. She also announced a new task force to help the Windrush Generation confirm their status in the UK with no cost to the Applicant. Furthermore, Theresa May met with Caribbean leaders yesterday and apologised over the Windrush controversy stating that she was “genuinely sorry” about the anxiety caused by the Home Office threatening the children of Commonwealth citizens with deportation.
It is clear that there are many deficiencies with the Home Office and how they implement procedure. A Law Society report last week found almost 50% of UK immigration and asylum appeals were upheld, which it said was “clear evidence of serious flaws in the way visa and asylum applications are being dealt with”. Therefore it is clear that a serious overhaul is needed to that the system takes more consideration to the individual and stops alienating and tormenting those with every right to be in the UK.
Using Legal Representation to submit a UK Visas and Immigration Application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a UK visa application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK visa application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your UK visa application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful UK Visas and Immigration Applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your UK visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your UK visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful UK visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.